Start a fire, advent conspire, and more from this last COWO mtg (including an update on serving together this Nov & Dec).

Are you ready to start a fire and Advent Conspire and grow in a needed unity that’s dire? Sorry, couldn’t help it. Wanted to start off this post with some engaging sentence or question. At least that one rhymed 🙂

Nonetheless, this past Wednesday, the Church of West Orange folks met by the House Blend Cafe in Ocoee from 9:30am to 11am. It was a meaningful time of encouragement with twelve different local church expressions and ministries represented. We prayed for one another for mission together, encouraged each other with updates and needs, and then discussed how we could give ourselves away together in the coming months.

Anthony Hodge with Finding the Lost Sheep Ministries shared with us that from October 27th to 31st near Zanders Park in the Maxey neighborhood, they are gonna be “starting a fire” with 7pm nightly tent-meetings to worship together and study the Scriptures. Please pray that the Spirit would use the leaders and move among those present that the Gospel would both wreck and restore us together as one community. If you would like more information, reply or comment back to us and we will connect you with Anthony.

Mark Marsden with St. Pauls Presbyterean shared about how some folks had been with them last weekend teaching and conversing about “how to hear and listen to God.” He told us of measurable evidences of figurative and literal healings in the lives of people as the nearness of Jesus touched and changed many lives. It was a special time. And St. Pauls continues to model a giving themselves away. One need in particular that Mark mentioned was one gentleman trying to get back on his feet and in need of some help. Anyone interested, let us know and we will connect you with Mark.

Charlie Woodward with West River Fellowship, a brand new church start in Winter Garden, shared with us that they are connecting with some awesome folks who are not yet believers and beginning to journey with them around the Gospel and the near love of Jesus. They are gathering together on Sunday nights above Axum Coffee Shop in downtown Winter Garden at 6:15pm. If you would like to support Charlie in any way in their new endeavor, please let us know and we will connect you. Charlie also shared about a local need they have been made aware of for clothing for orphans and foster kids in Central FL. Read at the end of this post on how to help with this need.

David Netzorg, a pastor in the area currently praying for a specific opportunity to serve and lead, shared with us about his experiences volunteering in the area. He is focusing some of his time with the True Life Choice pregnancy clinic near Edgewater High School, and he is also connecting with and studying the Scriptures with those in jail down at the 33rd. So grateful for David, his faithfulness, and his friendship. If you know of any opportunities for David to teach and lead and serve with a local church, let us know and we will pass it along.

Tom Welch with Southwest Church, who gathers at the YMCA shared with us about their continued service to the people that are always at and around the Y. They also will be a collection headquarters for “Operation Christmas Child” and for Angel Trees for Edgewood Ranch in November and December if you are interested.

Boyd Evans was with us, as well. He leads a supply ministry for folks in need of materials and resources to help with specific personal needs. He shared an awesome story of God providing an opportunity that was beyond anything they thought they could supply. Well, once again, God not only provided the opportunity to supply hospital beds for those patients transitioning from Orlando Health to home care, He also provided the beds when a local nursing home called him to tell him of 200 beds they needed hauled away because they had received new ones!!! So grateful! If you would like to learn more about what Boyd is up to and how you can help, let us know and we will connect you.

Cindy Underwood with Safe and Sober Housing Alternative (SASHA’s) shared they had just celebrated their one year anniversary!!! So grateful Cindy!!! She asked for prayer for ongoing gratitude and transformation in the hearts and lives of the women who have been with them and who are currently are housed with her. She also shared about a BOWLING FUNDRAISER coming up next Friday, October 21st, at 7pm at the Colonial Bowling Lanes ( The cost is $20. Come out and support SASHA’s if you can!!!

Al Rowe with the local campus for Belhaven University was present again with us. We are so grateful for his new partnership with the Church of West Orange. He offered again their services for unique educational opportunities that we may think of that would serve the needs of our local church expressions and any new directions that people are trying to learn about and grow in. If you would like to talk with Al about educational training and certificates or any other way you think you and Belhaven could partner, please let us know and we will connect you!

Wade Sansing with Total Freedom Ministries updated us that they now have three homes in which they are serving and mentoring folks. Thankful for that. Others are being rented out to families who need them. He shared with us that the “Fields of Grace Community Project” is moving forward. Support is growing along with sponsorship. It will be a temporary housing concept focused on training individuals and families for next steps in their lives through difficult times. If you have questions or would like to help them in this project, let us know and we will connect you!

Carole Batten with Hope Counseling (in partnership with Julie Wolf) was there. She and Julie are trusted individual and family counselors in the Winter Garden area if you have that need. Carole shared with us about a free grief seminar coming up November 3rd from 7pm to 9pm in the fellowship hall on the campus of First United Methodist Church of Winter Garden. You can RSVP to 352.978.4568 if you would like to go. The title of the seminar is “Grieving through the Holidays.” Thank you, Carole and Hope Counseling for putting on this needed and helpful seminar.

Scott Billue with Next Community Church and Matthew’s Hope shared with us about how God continues to provide for both their church family and the needs of the ministries of Matthew’s Hope to our local homeless friends. He said their greatest needs right now are jeans and sneakers. Read below for an opportunity to help with this need during November and December. And let us know if you would like to connect with Scott and serve every Tuesday with Matthew’s Hope. Scott specifically asked for prayer for more counselors and for provision to help homeless families find a home.

Jason Dukes (me) with Westpoint Church was there, too. We closed the meeting by discussing our “Advent Conspiracy” effort together for November and December. If you remember, last year we united together to raise $11,000 to build a well for a village near Awassa, Ethiopia (some of the folks in our community serve the children there through Children’s Hope Chest).

Well, this year, we talked about staying local with our focus and taking the months of November and December to collect for both kids and adults the following items:

  • jeans
  • sneakers
  • hoodies
  • jackets
  • socks
  • underwear

We will be getting to you in the next week or so some video and flyer promotion for this effort. We will also let you know where across the West Orange community the items will be collected. So grateful for this opportunity to give ourselves away together. Be brainstorming about the folks in the community you can engage with to invite to participate with us (local schools, other church families, businesses, day cares, neighbors on the street where you live, etc.). 

Love y’all. We will get that info out to you soon.

BY THE WAY – PLEASE NOTE THAT STARTING NEXT MONTH WE WILL BEGING MEETING ON THE 2ND WEDNESDAY OF EACH MONTH RATHER THAN THE FIRST (as we have been). Please make the change to the recurring event in your calendar. 

Type or talk at you soon!

About jasoncdukes

i am a doubter and a believer, a follower and a leader, a bride and a husband, a son and a father, a brother and a friend, a learner and a teacher, a writer and a reader, an art-lover and a sports-fan.
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